MAYVILLE, NY — Chautauqua County’s Health Department and Office for Aging Services have teamed up, again, to get the word out to our community to be on the lookout for health insurance scams during insurance open enrollment time.
Open enrollment for health insurance programs runs now through December 15th and Medicare open enrollment runs through December 7th, and The New York State Department of Health reports health insurance scams currently are on the rise.
“Scammers can be very convincing and creative, so we want residents to know the warning signs and what to do if a call or contact seems suspicious,” states Lacey Wilson, Chautauqua County Health Department’s Deputy Public Health Director. “Insurance companies should never contact you by phone, email or text to ask for personal information like your Social Security Number or bank information.”
“Medicare scammers often pretend to be from Medicare, or from a business you know, with the goal to steal your information,” states Dr. MaryAnn Spanos, Chautauqua County Office for Aging Services Director. “They often make you believe the situation is urgent and you must provide money or information right then.”
Say no to scams
Do not share your personal information or give money to anyone. Scammers may even say you have to pay them to keep Medicaid or CHIP coverage or apply for Marketplace coverage. The Marketplace, their assisting organizations, and New York State agencies will never threaten you or ask for your credit card information or payment to keep or qualify for health coverage.
Report it if someone calls, emails, or texts you asking for:
- Your personal information (like your Social Security Number)
- Money (like credit card payment, gift cards, cash, prepaid debit card, or cryptocurrency)
- Or, if they threaten you or anyone in your household with legal action
Report it to the Federal Trade Commission at reportfraud.ftc.gov.
To learn how to renew Medicaid, Child Health Plus, or Essential Plan health insurance, New Yorkers are encouraged to visit the NY State of Health webpage on this topic at info.nystateofhealth.ny.gov/COVID-19-Changes or the NY Medicaid website www.health.ny.gov/health_care/medicaid. To learn about enrolling or renewing commercial Qualified Health Plan coverage for 2024, New Yorkers are encouraged to visit the NY State of Health website at nystateofhealth.ny.gov. You can also get help by calling the Customer Service Center at 1-855-355-5777 (TTY: 1-800-662-1220).
Medicare Open Enrollment assistance is available through the Office for Aging Services and local insurance agents who have been trained by OFAS. Call the NY Connects Helpline for an appointment, list of local trained agents, and for all your answers on aging at 716-753-4582.
About Chautauqua County Health Department - The Chautauqua County Health Department is the leading Public Health organization in Chautauqua County dedicated to the support of the community’s health. The Health Department takes innovative approaches to provide technical assistance to partner organizations, and offers various programs and services in order to help prevent disease, protect the public’s health and promote our community’s overall health and wellness. For more information visit www.HealthyCHQ.com